SHOW REVIEW: Flamingosis at El Rey Theatre

  Photo credit: Reanna Cruz

Photo credit: Reanna Cruz

New Jersey-based producer and electronic musician Flamingosis, on his social media, promises an “infectiously energetic live show”. His performance at the El Rey Theatre on September 21st was all that, and more.

Currently, Flamingosis has eight records out - I had become familiar with his large body of work through another friend who had seen him in the fall; after the show, he couldn’t stop singing his praises. Upon first listen, every song feels just a little ethereal, with classic funk and disco samples peppered through enough to promote familiarity, yet enough synths and bass riffs to sound fresh and new. His new record, Flight Fantastic, isn’t an exception, and was the deciding factor in wanting to see his set in person.

The crowd at the show was interesting, to say the least: the opener, UNIIQU3, began a little after 9, and started her set to an open, unoccupied floor. The so-called “Jersey Club Qween" had infectious, new, and wonderful energy, and made a fan in both me and my friend in attendance, despite the fact that everyone else was watching from the sides. Halfway through, however, once UNIIQU3 broke out of the DJ booth and began to rap, sing, and twerk all over the stage, the crowd became more and more involved. At one point she threw out candy as she started her song “Bubble Gum”. Her set was absolutely incredible, and even though the audience wasn’t particularly responsive, her passion shined out and brought the energy up, for Flamingosis to come on directly after.

Once Flamingosis took the stage, the crowd erupted in cheers. All the people hanging on the sides during the opener crowded the floor and immediately started dancing to the warm tones spreading throughout the room. The energy was incredibly infectious; there was not a person on that floor that wasn’t grooving out. I’ve seen shows at the El Rey before, and the audio system isn’t my favorite there - but the sounds were so clean and crisp, it was remarkable. The man, clouded in fog and pink and green lighting, bounced across the stage, twisting knobs whenever he saw fit, his unbridled enthusiasm spreading out over the crowd.

His set went through his entire career, mixed effortlessly. Songs that were completely different from one another fell in and out perfectly. “Brunch at the Bodega”, “Groovin’” and “Football Head” were the highlights, coupled with surprise remixes - midway through, he broke out a new remix of “Money” by Pink Floyd, followed by one of “Work It” by Missy Elliott. To close the performance, he stopped the music and did a three minute beatbox, which, much like the other parts of his set, didn’t fail to get the crowd moving. The ensuing encore was audience prompted: calling him back to the stage, he decided to perform a couple of unreleased tracks, both of which (a new song with fellow future-funk artist Yung Bae & a five minute disco remix of Lil Pump’s “Gucci Gang”) made the crowd go wild, and, after making a remark about what night it was, finished it off by playing an untouched version of the classic “September” by Earth, Wind & Fire.
UNIIQU3 was a pleasant surprise, but if I could describe Flamingosis’s set in one word, it would be cozy. Dancing in the middle of the floor, as the lush sounds filled my ears, it felt like I was on a warm beach somewhere. If I closed my eyes, I was transported: I’ve never had an experience like that at a concert before. It was so new, and inviting, and everyone there felt as though we were all together as soon as his figure took the booth. The friend I went with, who had never heard a single song prior to coming to the show with me, told me afterwards that it was the most fun they’d ever had at a concert. I’d have to say that I agree.

Reanna Cruz